As the seasons change, it’s time to prepare for the colder weather ahead, scheduling annual maintenance for your heating equipment and ensuring adequate insulation. The same material that keeps your home cool in the summer will help prevent heat from escaping in the winter, increasing comfort and reducing energy bills. Read on to find out more about insulating your Portland area home.
Where to Look
The easiest place to look, and the one that will yield the best results, is your attic. If the insulating material is below or level with the floor joists, you should probably add more. Aim for between 12 and 15 inches of material, equaling an R-value of 38 or higher, and don’t forget to insulate and weatherstrip the attic hatch.
Checking the insulation level in your walls is trickier, requiring specialized tools such as an infrared scanner or camera. A professional energy auditor can help pinpoint which areas of your home require attention and show you other ways to make it more energy efficient.
R-value is used to determine the performance level of insulating materials, and a higher number indicates greater insulating power. Differing values are recommended for attics, basements, crawlspaces and walls, and numbers vary depending on geographical location.
Types of Insulation
There are several product types to choose from, some of which require professional installation and some that can be used in combinations, keeping in mind that high-density materials should not be placed on top of low ones. Options include:
- Loose-fill – Cellulose or fiberglass fibers are blown into wall cavities, unfinished attic floors or oddly shaped spaces.
- Blanket – These rolls or batts are easy to install and come in widths common to wall studs and floor or attic joists.
- Foam – A professional sprays this urethane (or other material) based material into wall cavities, where it expands to fill the space, and will not shrink, sag or settle.
For more tips on how to properly insulate your home for year round comfort, call our experts at (503) 266-1249. Since 1976, we’ve been working hard to provide quality service to homeowners in Portland and the surrounding area.